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Mad Ants drop season opener to Erie

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For more on the Mad Ants, follow Reggie Hayes via Twitter at www.twitter.com/reggiehayes1

Saturday, November 24, 2012 - 1:23 am

The Mad Ants' season debut featured just about everything except a win.

Duane Ticknor made his debut as coach, the Indiana Pacers sent rookies Miles Plumlee and Orlando Johnson up to the NBA Development League team for some seasoning and veteran Ron Howard scored 27 points.

But Erie BayHawks beat the Ants 109-100 on Friday night at Memorial Coliseum.

The Mad Ants return to the court to play the Maine Red Claws at 5 p.m. Sunday at the coliseum. Maine's roster includes former Indiana University guard Jeremiah Rivers and former Butler guard Shelvin Mack.

Walker Russell Jr. scored 17 points with six assists for the Ants on Friday. Johnson added 15 points with six rebounds while Plumlee scored five points with 12 rebounds.

Former Purdue standout and No.1 D-League draft pick JaJuan Johnson scored 13 points with nine rebounds in his debut.

Erie was led by Nick Covington with 27 points and D.J. Kennedy with 21 points and 10 rebounds.